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I have mentioned before that I volunteer at OWL (Orphaned Wildlife). A few weeks ago I was called to the townhouse complex next door to my condo to pickup a Barred Owl that a neighbour had found on the ground. The finder was able to approach the bird and pick it up using a towel (needless to say this is not normal). There was no sign of injury but the bird was extremely weak and on examination very pale (the inside of her mouth and ears were white). I suspected secondary rodenticide poisoning and that was proven to be true when the bird care staff back at OWL examined her. She died 2 days later.
Since this was so close to where I live, I feared that it may be one of the pair of Barred Owls that live in the green space out back of my condo. I compared pictures and identified her as the female of that pair. The male has been calling for her, day and night, ever since (as I write this he is hooting outside). They mate for life and it is breeding season right now, but nothing is going to happen this year. If he doesn’t find another mate soon (unlikely) he will move on.
This is a growing problem in urban areas. We (at OWL) see only a fraction of the number of raptors killed each year by secondary rodenticide poisoning. The pest control industry has managed to convince unknowing property owners that rodenticide is safe and only affects the target species - rats and mice. This is not even close to being true (and they know it) but it does sell their product. Owls, eagles, hawks, coyotes, household cats, snakes and anything else that may consume wild rodents are affected. And then it goes all the way up the food chain – we all have traces of rodenticide in our blood!
I won’t go on a rant about this (and believe me, I could) but rather I will leave 2 links that I hope you will click on.
The 1st is from the OWL website if you would like more information:
The 2nd is for a petition to the BC Government to ban rodenticides: ... %20control.

Please inform yourself and then, if you are as outraged as I am, sign the petition.
Thank you for your time.

I took this picture last May. The female is on the right.
ImageBarred Owls by Jewill on Flickr
Yea! We won!!

Well, only for 18 months but I’ll take it. There are quite a few exemptions too, but again, it’s a step in the right direction and I welcome any change that will get this stuff off the market. To those that took the time to sign the petition “Thank You”. You are part of the solution and are helping to make a difference.
Thanks for updating and caring about this topic. Just a small bit of info as I worked in government and politics for a long time..if you want real chance you must submit a parliamentary petition and get what you want sponsored by a MLA or MP. It is really the only way to get real legislation changed. This kind of ban has been requested for years glad to see some movement.
Thanks Chantel. Hopefully with more and more publicity, and outrage, we can get something done permanently.
I’m not the author of this petition so I’ll see about passing on your comments to Yasmin Abidi who started it. It also looks like Susie Chant, the MLA for North Van/Seymour, may be the one to approach regarding sponsorship. It was in her district that “Lucky” the Barred Owl (who is featured in the petition) was poisoned twice and survived. He has since been released in a different location.
Since I wrote the post I personally have picked up 5 more dead owls due to rodenticide poisoning and there is a freezer full of them at OWL. It has to stop.

I should add that, because of the death of the female owl in the green space out back of my condo, the strata council for the building voted to switch from poison bait boxes to Humane Solutions snap traps. It’s a baby step but one that I am very pleased about. At least her death, while totally preventable, wasn’t in complete vain.
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